Mortality Statistics for the City of Meadville


Mortality is defined as the number of deaths in a population. Mortality data is useful in many ways. It can be used to monitor the health status of a community as well as identify subgroups of the population who are at greater risk of death from various causes. This data can help the community health nurse identify areas of focus for disease prevention and health promotion through outreach and education.


Mortality rates can be expressed in a variety of different ways such as by time, geographic location, cause, age, race, socio-economic status, education level, etc.

 Crude death rate: Total deaths per 100,000 in a specified time period

 Age-specific death rate: Specific age group deaths per 100,000 in a specified time period

 Age adjusted death rate: Used to make comparisons of relative mortality risks across groups and over time, it eliminates the influence of shifts in population age structure. It is a better indicator for showing changes in mortality over time and among causes.


Let’s begin with an overview of mortality for the ten leading causes of death in Meadville as compared to state and national statistics in the year 2004. Notice that there are no outstanding differences.

Table 1

Meadville Pennsylvania United States
Total Deaths¹ 197 126,602 2,398,343
Heart Disease 48 36,063 654,092
Cancer 42 29,218 550,270
Stroke 23 7,731 150,147
CLRD² 7 5,952 123,884
Accidents 6* 5,091 108,694
Diabetes 8 3,562 72,815
Alzheimer’s Disease 12 3,258 65,829
Influenza & Pneumonia 4 2,915 61,472
Kidney Diseases 4 3,051 42,762
Septicemia 2 2,476 33,464


¹Total includes other causes

²Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases

*Data does not include transport vehicle accidents

(Commonwealth of PA, Department of Health)

Specific mortality causes are not available for Meadville but the chart below shows the statistics for Crawford County.


Table 2


Infant (29 – 364 days) mortality in the U.S. for the year 2003 was 28,025 with 67% being neonates (28 days old or less). For the state of PA, infant mortality was 1060, with 73% being neonates. No statistics were available for the city of Meadville but in Crawford County, nine infants died in 2003 with 67% of those being neonates. The ten national leading causes of death for infants in 2003 were as follows:

 Congenital abnormalities

 Low birth weight

 Sudden infant death syndrome

 Maternal complications

 Cord and placental complications

 Accidents

 Respiratory distress

 Bacterial sepsis

 Neonatal hemorrhage

 Circulatory diseases


National life expectancy for 2003 was 77.5 years, a record high. For females it was 80.1 years and 74.8 years for males.


Table 3


Again, while no data on the city of Meadville is available, the following table shows leading causes of death by age group in Crawford County.


Table 4


The national age-adjusted death rate was a record low with a total decline of 19.9% since 1980. Age-specific death rates declined for all age groups except 45 – 54 year olds who saw a .7% increase. Death rates for the black population were 30% higher than for the white population. The Hispanic death rate was 26.4% lower than for the non-Hispanic population. This fact needs to be considered in light of the fact that underreporting of Hispanic origins on death certificates is common and that the “salmon bias effect” suggests that many Hispanics return to their country of origin to die.

The chart below demonstrates age-adjusted death rates for selected leading causes of death in the U.S.


Table 5


The significant rise in Alzheimer’s Disease death rates are due in part to improvements in diagnosis.

(Commonwealth of PA, Department of Health)